Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Mystique of Hastings Racecourse

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The Mystique of Hastings Racecourse

By Sora Kazesawa
The Daily Magi
November 14, 2063

Hastings Racecourse is a horse racing facility at Hastings Park four miles from downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Originally called East Park, it opened for business in 1889, making it Vancouver’s longest continuously used professional sports facility. The racing operation is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation who acquired the lease of the city-owned track in 2004, but will soon change hands to the Kaname Family of Mitakihara Town, B.C. in 2064, long known as the Rockefellers of the province.

On the first Monday in August, a public holiday, the track hosts BC Cup Day that features a series of six races for top Thoroughbreds in various classes. In September, the two most important races for three-year-olds in British Columbia, the British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks and the British Columbia Breeders' Cup Derby, are run at Hastings Racecourse. Major races include:

Grade 3:
Lieutenant Governors Stakes
British Columbia Breeders' Cup Derby
Ballerina Breeders' Cup Stakes

Ungraded stakes:
British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks
Fantasy Stakes
Ascot Graduation Stakes

On May 18, 2011 it was reported that the course could close at the end of its 2012 lease due to low profits from wagering revenue and slots and difficulty reaching an agreeable new lease with the city. After negotiations a decision by Great Canadian was made by October 31, to keep the racecourse open.

In 2012, the track made international headlines when little-known Mexican-born jockey Mario Gutierrez, who emigrated to Canada in 2006, began riding at Hastings and won the track's riding titles in 2007 and 2008, won the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes aboard I'll Have Another. Currently there is negotiations by Mitakihara University founder Dr. Madoka Kaname to purchase Hastings. The sale is expected to complete by December 25 of this year.

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